Booster shots critical to keep health care workers safe

With waning protection from COVID-19 for healthcare workers and some members of the public, there’s anticipation about when and how the booster program will be announced and implemented. 

AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid told ABC’s 7.30 Report this week that it’s critical health care workers with waning Covid 19 immunity receive a booster shot.

Speaking to the ABC’s 7.30 Report on Wednesday evening Dr Khorshid said the AMA was concerned that as more time goes on protection may wane.

“We don’t want to find out the hard way by seeing nurses and doctors at the frontline getting infected and ending up in hospital or even worse ending up in ICU.

“As vaccines become available toward the end of this year, we’re going to have plenty of vaccine available for these third doses, it is absolutely critical that those whose immunity may be waning are afforded that third dose availability,” he said.

Earlier this month ATAGI recommended boosters be made available for people who are immunocompromised and is expected to make an announcement soon regarding the booster program for the rest of the population. The federal government has said it will be looking to start a booster program for aged care in the second week of November.

The federal health minister, Greg Hunt, said the government was “in advanced consideration” of an application from Pfizer for the use of its booster shots. He said it was different from the third dose for immunocompromised people, which is considered part to the primary treatment program.

The health minister also announced this week Australia had passed the 70 per cent double dosed vaccination rate for the 16-plus population.

The AMA’s report card Public Hospitals: Cycle of Crisis continued to be publicised in the media over the week.

Last Friday ABC online and ABC’s flagship radio current affairs program AM analysed the report and its implications for the health system, as did The Australian. Dr Khorshid told The Australian hospitals had not been coping well before the pandemic as a result of a long-standing lack of funding and called for funding reform.

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